The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a bid by a group of Republican state officials to take over the defense of a hardline immigration rule issued by former President Donald Trump’s administration that had barred certain immigrants deemed likely to require government benefits from obtaining legal permanent residency.
The justices took up an appeal by 13 Republican state attorneys general led by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich of a lower court’s ruling that rejected their bid to defend Trump’s “public charge” rule. President Joe Biden’s administration dropped the government’s defense of the policy. A federal judge in Illinois in a separate case vacated the rule nationwide.
The rule was in effect from February 2020 until last March.
Brnovich was joined in his effort by officials from Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.
U.S. guidelines in place for the past two decades had said immigrants likely to become primarily dependent on direct cash assistance or long-term institutionalization, in a nursing home for example, at public expense would be barred from legal permanent residency, known as a “green card.”
Trump’s policy expanded this to anyone deemed likely to receive a much wider range of benefits for more than an aggregate of 12 months over any 36-month period including the Medicaid healthcare program, housing and food assistance.
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